WWI Photography US in London detail
WWI Photography Catalog

The Fine Print

« Videos of Scientists & Mathematicians: Feynman, von Neumann, Dirac et al | Main | War Rations--Iron and Bread »


Jeff Donlan

According to the SciAm graphic, Germany had 4MM men. If they were eating 60MM lbs of bread a week, that's 15 lbs of bread per week. That seems remarkable to me, especially if they had meat and potatoes, too. Then again, 2 lbs per day for hardworking young men might not be so much. In college, I used to split a pound of pasta with my roommate for a midnight snack. And ... if it was rye bread, it was certainly denser than the average white.

Happy Thanksgiving, John.

John F. Ptak

Thanks, Jeff--that measure missed me. And your numbers are correct, and I find that a little hard to imagine--2 pounds of bread per day--unless they were drinking some of it. Seriously--my guess is that they weighed 150/person. But they also ate 4 pounds of tatters a day, as well, which means 6 pounds of potatoes and bread a day, or about 5% of their body weight. Then again, they might have needed to. That, or the numbers are just wrong.

John F. Ptak

Holy moley. I just bumped into a story on what the Brits fed German POWs, and in the story at least the bread ration per day was 1.25 pounds.

The comments to this entry are closed.